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An estimated $58 million in loose change is left behind on airplanes each year.

If you think the change in your couch adds up, just try a 747. It’s been estimated that as much as $58 million is left behind on airplanes every year — a princely sum, to be sure, but one that makes sense when you remember how many people are often in the air at any given time. In an average year, the Federal Aviation Administration handles more than 16 million flights — which is to say that you probably won’t become a millionaire by looking through the seats of your next flight as you deplane. 

In fact, a great deal of loose change never even makes it off the ground. Nearly $1 million was left behind in security bins in 2019, all of which was collected — and kept — by the Transportation Security Administration. That amount, which the TSA is required to report, has been steadily growing in recent years: $531,000 was left behind in 2012, compared to $926,030 in 2019. If you don’t want to add to that number, you may want to go cashless on your next cross-country flight.

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